Animation has become such a broad field that it sometimes has trouble of breaking that mold that the medium is entirely made up of kid’s movies. It’s sad that people think that when it really isn’t the case. While films like Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University may come across as kid friendly (and they are), they also possess a lot of themes and moments that will make older audiences laugh and enjoy the ride with younger children.
Disney’s Frozen follows with the other two films in that it looks tailored for kids. Princesses, castles, goofy side characters, and lots of songs makes for a two hour babysitter for parents stuck dragging their kids to come and see the movie. But Frozen is much more than that. It knows that its audience grew up with this stuff. Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Mulan; all of this is in the same realm as Frozen and this is something nice to see. A return to the classic Disney but with enough modernness interjected in it to make it its own entity,
Frozen follows Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), a princess who has grown up with a distant sister. What she doesn’t know is that her sister must be distant because of her powers to turn things into ice. Elsa (Idina Menzel) runs away from the castle after the townspeople don’t react well when her secret is finally revealed, leaving Anna and a reluctant Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) to go and track her down.
The film is just plain traditional Disney with two princesses and an abundance of songs. Not to say that its bad in any way. The songs are fun and catchy with dance numbers that are thrilling to watch. It doesn’t hurt also that they have a Broadway savvy cast to help make the music pop. While sure to garner some awards for Best Original Song at the Oscars, the film did at times seem to overdo the singing and at parts I felt they could of just left out a singing number. That being said, I enjoyed “Let It Go” and “In Summer.”
The cast was well put together. Bell was able to hold her own singing wise and her character, Anna, was charming and very lovable. She was played off as a kind of quirky person and I thought that added to her charm because she didn’t overdo it or try and be overly quirky. Josh Gad stole the show as Olaf the snowman. Every time he was on screen, Olaf had something hilarious to say and Gad’s comedic timing proved to be a winning asset to the film. Menzel as Elsa was strong as well even though I felt like her character never really developed enough.
My biggest problem of the film was how everything tied up and while this may just be me nitpicking the film, I found the resolution to be poor compared to rest. The fact that Elsa is able to learn how to save everything with love was somewhat cheesy and I felt like some more creative writing could of came into play there. While it fell in suit with classic Disney movies, the rest of the movie was so well paced and written that I expected something a little better out of the ending.
While I struggled with the ending, I found the rest of the film to be very refreshing and fun. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee did a fantastic job of pacing the film and blended humor and story very well. Not only did they blend it well but there are multiple parts that had me laughing hard at. It reminded me of Disney Animation Studio’s last feature, Wreck-It-Ralph, where the jokes were put in and the actors are so naturally funny that it came across very well.
Frozen is the one to beat right now for Best Animated Feature and while there’s still a lot of time between now and the Oscars, including a Miyazaki film, it should be a major player on Oscar night. The movie is fun, the songs are entertaining, and the characters are memorable. It is a for sure instant classic and one that will be revisited for a long time by this writer.